Prodr., 8, 120. 1788.

Common names: Helmet orchid
Etymology: Greek kranos, helmet, for helmetlike appearance of lip
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 546. Mentioned on page 498.

Herbs terrestrial, sympodial. Roots several, fasciculate, thick, villous. Stems simple, rhizomatous. Leaves 1–many, often forming basal rosette; blade petiolate, not articulate, thin. Inflorescences terminal, several- to many-flowered racemes, erect; scape with a few sheathing bracts. Flowers not resupinate; sepals and petals spreading, distinct, thin; lip concave, fleshy; column cylindric, short; anther erect, abaxial; pollinia 4, clavate, mealy, breaking apart in chunks, not powdery, attached to caudicle; stigma entire; rostellum apical, viscidium terminal; ovary pedicellate. Fruits capsules, erect.


Subtropical and tropical regions, North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.


Species 60 (1 in the flora).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Cranichis"
James D. Ackerman +
Swartz +
Helmet orchid +
Subtropical and tropical regions +, North America +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +  and South America. +
Greek kranos, helmet, for helmetlike appearance of lip +
Cranichis +
Orchidaceae (tribe Cranichideae) subtribe Cranichidinae +